Green Streets in San Diego – A Virtual Tour of Completed Green Streets Projects in the San Diego Region

Date / Time:
Wednesday, Sep 16 9:00am to 9:30am
Track / Session:
Track: Stormwater Infrastructure and Natural Waterways / Session 5

The San Diego region has seen its fair share of Green Streets implementation in recent years. Some have been used for typical MS4 permit compliance with new public roadway projects, some as a result of grant-funded retrofit projects to improve water quality, and others have been constructed to meet requirements for private development projects. With the latest PDP exemptions for redevelopment of existing paved streets (in accordance with the US EPA Municipal Handbook for Green Streets), there continues to be ample opportunity and demand to implement Green Street elements. 

Recently, there has ben a paradigm shift in the approach to street design. The conventional design approach tended towards impervious medians and parking lanes, while pushing stormwater features, typically rain gardens or vaults, to the parkway. The approach has evolved to provide aesthetic, safety, and stormwater improvements. The green street design approach now tends towards permeable medians and parking lanes, while moving the parkway between the sidewalk and parking lane.

This virtual tour will highlight local Green Street projects which have been successfully implemented. The highlighted projects will include:

H Street Extension (Port of San Diego, CA):

This roadway project involved extending a four-lane arterial roadway approximately 1400 feet from the terminus near Bay Boulevard to Marina Parkway. This project required review, approval, and inspection through multiple jurisdictions and entities.

The water quality approach for the project consisted bioretention areas constructed in the parkway between the curb and sidewalk, to meet the RWQCB’s storm water treatment requirements. The long, narrow and sloping nature of the parkway presented a unique situation, requiring the bioretention areas to be designed as terraces to create the flat bottoms while the curb and sidewalk follow the slope of the street.  Overall, the biofiltration basins provide water quality benefit for over 10 acres of roadway. This is one of the first projects in the San Diego region to implement green street design.

Millenia - Green Streets (Chula Vista, CA):

Millenia is a mixed-use development set over 220 acres in the City of Chula Vista. The overall Millenia project was permitted under the 2007 MS4 Permit and identified as a priority development project that was required to provide Treatment Control BMPs, HMP flow control requirements, LID Site Design BMPs, and Source Control BMPs.

As part of the streetscape design of the project, over 60 biofiltration basins were constructed within the right-of-way to treat all the public streets. At each four-way intersection throughout the development, 8 biofiltration basins were constructed to treat approximately 500 linear feet of the half-street width for small frequently occurring storm events.

University Avenue (La Mesa, CA):

The City of La Mesa was awarded a Proposition 84 Grant for conversions to their existing landscape medians located along University Avenue. The goal of this project was to revitalize University Avenue, improve storm water quality, and promote neighborhood redevelopment. The existing condition of the medians consisted of asphalt paved medians, distressed trees and landscaping, and areas of poor lighting and visibility.

The water quality approach for the project consisted of conveying runoff from small frequently occurring events to biofiltration basins in the medians. Overall the project constructed a total 2100 linear feet of biofiltration, treating approximately 43 acres of existing development and roadway. The project was included as a goal in City’s Water Quality Improvement Plan and designed to reduce containments in storm water runoff and assist in compliance with Chollas Creek TMDL Order.  Special attention was needed to specify a soil mix that would provide for stormwater retention and infiltration while creating an appropriate growing medium for the plant material selected for this highly visible location.

Primary Speaker:
Shavger Rekani, Rick Engineering Company

Shavger Rekani is a Principal Water Resources Project Manager in the San Diego office of RICK and has more than 8 years of experience. His experience includes preparation and review of stormwater quality design and technical reports within municipalities throughout the State of California, including for agencies covered under the Municipal Permit for the San Diego Region.  Typical involvement has ranged from interpreting municipal permit requirements, implementation, design, operation and maintenance plans, maintenance agreements, and compliance with annual verification for treatment BMPs.  His familiarity with integrating drainage and water quality design as a civil engineer is key to implementing pollutant control BMPs and Hydromodification Management requirements.